Keeping safe on walk events in 2021

Jan. 24, 2021, 3:45 p.m.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued far into this new year, the support from a group like Walk&Talk4Men continues to be needed more than ever in the communities where we are present, as we are a health support group and so can continue to provide walk events. We also understand that these have to be conducted even more carefully than before in order to stop the spread.

We are very fortunate that more new walk leaders have joined us in recent months, and it is the safety of our walk leaders, and our walk attendees, that continues to be our main priority. With this in mind, we have put together an update set of guidelines that all must now follow in order to ensure that we can safely continue to provide support with and improving men's mental well-being, changing the conversation and breaking down the stigmas around mental health for men.

◦ Walk leaders and attendees are to wear masks at the walk's meeting point. These can be taken off once the walk begins, but they can be left on for all of the walk event if attendees feel more comfortable.
◦ Unfortunately no handshakes or hugs whilst introducing yourself, and you must keep a distance of 2m apart as per government guidelines.
◦ Attendees will be split up into pairs to prevent wider group mixing, and will set off at seperate paces to ensure social distancing is adhered to at all times.
◦ Walk leaders will endeavour to make sure all attendees feel safe and comfortable. Our walks are designed to be a safe and supportive setting, and there is no pressure to talk or share, just walking and listening is more than enough.
◦ Some but not all of our walk leaders are yet fully qualified in MHFA (Mental Health First Aid) or are qualified Mental Health Professionals, and they will make attendees aware of this as such. However, they are able assist to assist anyone attending our walks in seeking out professional help, e.g GP/medical consultants, or helplines to relevant organisations which can also offer support. We have created a list of these in the image above this article, which is also pinned across all our social media platforms.
◦ Walk leaders will advise all attendees of the approx distance of their planned walk event, and if anyone wants to end their walk before hand, they are welcome to do so.
◦ If at any point walk leaders feel uncomfortable or unsure about anything, they will contact our founder, James Mace in the first instance. If anybody is a danger to themselves or others, then they will call 999.
◦ If possible, attendees will be asked if they wish to supply their name and email address for our newsletter that we will be looking to launch later this year to inform them of forthcoming events and other group activities.

These rules are a temporary measure until the world is a safer place, and we will continue to act within UK Government guidelines and review these guidelines we have set out as and when needed. We are releasing these as our main priority is that we want everyone who is involved with the group to be safe. Any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us across our socials, or drop us an email - walkandtalk4men@gmail.com.

Thank you,

James (W&T4M Founder)